Your Year Around Flower and Garden Guide

Tropical Garden Design

Although you probably can't take friends and family on a sea cruise to a tropical island, you can still offer them a little bit of tropical paradise, right in your backyard.

Even if you live in the north, you can design and plant a tropical garden. Tropical gardens are just the spot for summertime get-togethers and picnics. Moreover, tropical gardens can be portable for a single day or planted for season long enjoyment. Many of the plants you already grow may have tropical origins and/or characteristics. For instance, annuals such as geraniums, impatiens, and begonias are tropical plants.Bananas Tropical Fruits

Grow tender tropical perennials as annuals or bring them indoors at season's end to add tropical warmth to your décor over winter.

Elephant ear, canna and caladium are three tropical beauties fit for planting in your summer garden. Since these are perennial bulbs, you need only lift them at season's end and store them over winter.

Many indoor tropical plants enjoy a summer vacation in an outdoor garden.

Give your dieffenbachia, pathos, rubber plant, croton, and spider plant a breath of fresh summer air. Sink pots that contain large plants like potted palms, pineapple plants, banana trees, and lemon trees directly into your garden soil or place the pots at strategic points throughout your tropical paradise.

When designing a tropical garden, remember that tropical plants generally add high visual impact to your landscape.

Broad, shiny foliage and bodacious flowers can easily eclipse the delicate annuals typical of northern gardens. However, if you don't have space to set aside an entire area for a tropical garden, you can ease the transition from traditional to tropical with a variety of tropical-looking plants. Plants like goats beard, pampas grass, lobelia, hardy hibiscus, hostas and many large-leafed ferns seem to erupt with tropical style.

Delay planting tropical garden plants or moving established house tropical's outside until nighttime temperatures remain in the 50s and soil is warm to your touch. Cold will stunt the growth of tropical's, but plant them in the right conditions and tropical plants are capable of amazingly fast growth. For instance, some bamboo plants have been documented at a growth rate of over a foot a day!

Tropical gardens offer diversity in gardening in a variety of ways. Your tropical garden can be your true hideaway from everyday or your exotic piazza at party time. So if you're entertaining thoughts of a new gardening idea, contemplate the pleasures of tropical garden design!